5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Audience Segmentation

Marketing
3 min. read

Lorna Keane / May 24, 2017

Segmentation is an essential process to target consumers effectively.

Why? Today’s consumers are actively engaged in a multitude of conversations – fragmented across time, location and an abundance of digital channels.

With a clear understanding of your audience and how they spend their time, you can not only provide the best experience and influence the path to purchase, but identify new consumers.

Regardless of the type of campaign or strategy, when segmenting your audience, it’s vital to consider the following five simple, yet essential, steps.

How to Make Audience Segmentation Work

1. Use detailed audience personas to guide your creativity.

Start with your audience’s core set of demographics, such as age, location, ethnicity or family size.

These indicators are a good foundation, but you need to build on this data with insights into behaviors, preferences and affinities.

This is a great way to create more detailed profiles and data-driven personas, reducing the chance of serving irrelevant content.  

Combining these personas with an understanding of the channels and platforms best suited to reach a particular group will help you drive more targeted campaigns.

STA Travel, for example, used a quiz to identify different travel tribes including Thrill Seeker, A-Lister, Free Wheeler, and Live like a Local.

The quiz had over 40,000 participants and gained STA Travel more than 10,000 potential new customers. This is an innovative example of how personas can guide your campaign’s creative solutions.

2. Get to know your audience needs with customer journey maps.

When choosing between different products and services, consumers select the ones that best meet their needs.

Understanding and responding to these needs is key if a campaign is to deliver the desired results.

When segmenting your audience, go beyond historical data, expanding your analysis to better understand and anticipate the next step your consumer might take.

Armed with this understanding of what drives them, you can map out detailed customer journeys using data and insights to tell you how and where to deliver your message for greatest impact – channels, platforms and format.

By crafting specific content for each point along the journey, you will significantly increase your chances of guiding the customer along to the next stage.

3. Combine your data to get more personalized.

The in-depth data now available means audience segmentation can be refined to achieve far greater levels of personalization.

Combining qualitative personas with quantitative behavioral data, you can define highly actionable audiences. Being this targeted, your content has a far greater chance of resonating with the right people.

Not only this, consumer attitudes are changing – they expect a much higher standard from brands in terms of messaging, personalization and responsiveness to their needs.

Segmenting audiences to deliver tailored messaging and experiences for every customer at every stage is now an essential requirement.

4. Investigate usage and needs for more differentiation.

Usage and needs-based customer segmentation helps you get to the heart of what your customers want and how to differentiate your offer.

Most brands have multiple offerings for different types of consumers and determining the different uses customers may have for your products or services is a great way to carry out this segmentation.

This approach also helps to identify new audiences who share similar needs.

5. Find out what really engages your audience for more reach.

To increase your reach, you need to know what really engages your customer segments, but also how their behaviors differ across channels.

Within industries like travel and consumer goods, for example, peer recommendations and reviews prove highly influential.

When it comes to different audiences, finding out what works for them is key. Our latest statistics show that when targeting mothers, for example, incentives like free delivery and customer reviews act as the most effective purchase drivers.

Using these insights to deliver more engaging campaigns will bring your reach to new heights.

What’s more, tracking targeted content will allow you to see when and how different audiences are activated – an insight that can be built into further segmentation and incorporated into future campaigns.

Want to know more? Take the next step by learning how to boost campaign success with data-driven personas.

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